Civilian RCMP helicopter pilot Roger Thomas said he can fly from the Langley Regional Airport to Whalley in three minutes and believes the move here allows them to get to scenes faster than when they were based out of YVR.

RCMP helicopters have new home base in Langley

Air One and Air Two to be based out of Langley Regional Airport

They are the RCMP’s eye in the sky, but now Air One and Air Two will be a lot closer to home for Langley residents.

The BC RCMP Air Services section has moved their two helicopters from YVR South Terminal to the Langley Regional Airport.

Insp. Nigel Bushe, Officer in Charge of the Air Services, said the move to Langley makes them more central to get to crime scenes and it is also more cost effective.

“To get our helicopter out of YVR we often had to wait 10 to 15 minutes to get clearance because it is such a busy airport,” said Bushe. “We didn’t get priority treatment, even if it was an emergency.”

Now Air One can get from Langley Airport to Whalley in three minutes.

It can fly over to Maple Ridge in that same time.

The RCMP have signed a long-term lease for hangar 47 and have been flying out of Langley since June.

“Langley is dead centre,” said Bushe.

Right now there are two pilots and two tactical officers but Bushe is hoping that number grows to four or five. They are also hoping to bring a third helicopter on board.

“We are hoping the third helicopter can be a twin engine. That will allow us to hover, and do border searches and work with the Americans,” he said.

The RCMP Air One launched in 2006. Shortly afterwards, the province bought a second helicopter.

Since then air services has helped with hundreds of arrests, vehicle pursuits and recovery, locating suspects trying to run and hide and helping find lost hikers.

“We track down a lot of stolen vehicles, at least a couple a week,” said tactical officer Const. Tammy Sandquist.

She uses a camera that can zoom in 1,500 feet, allowing her to get details like gender, hair colour, clothing of suspects and make and model of vehicles.

They have the ability to track the speed of a vehicle just as if they were driving behind it, she said. They do a lot of traffic work, especially on the Sea to Sky Highway, where they have caught many excessive speeders.

“I’m not really a techie. I like to fly and catch the bad guys,” she said of all the equipment used inside the helicopter. They also use thermal imaging equipment.

“It’s a nice tool that has helped us located many missing people who are lost in trails. If they shine any type of light when they hear us, we can track them immediately.”

Just Posted

Have you seen Peter Webb?

Fifty-two-year-old man reported missing by family who last saw him July 9

UPDATE: 14-year-old pilot sets Guinness World Record at Langley airport

Mohd Shaikhsorab believes he is now the youngest pilot with the fewest hours logged to fly solo

Plenty of heroes in Thai cave rescue, says Langley diver

Erik Brown reflects on team effort that brought 12 boys and their coach to safety

Elvis sighted in Aldergrove

Live concerts set for Langley Cruise-In on Sept. 8

Township announces new Korean War memorial

A memorial stone from South Korea’s Gapyeong region will be installed at Derek Doubleday Arboretum

Through your lens: Okanagan wildfires

Check out some of the captivating images and video from social media of the wildfires

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

U.S president had suggested that auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.

Abbotsford’s Besse sisters: Vaulting to greatness at BC Summer Games

Local siblings heading to Cowichan to compete in equestrian

Wildfire evacuation order forces bride to search for new wedding venue

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards is under an order due to the Mount Eneas wildfire south of Peachland

Recent online kitten abuse video raises serious social media questions

UBC and UFV profs weigh in on the subject of online sharing, shaming, and our digital landscape

UPDATED: ICBC fights back against claims that it’s ‘ripping off’ B.C. RV drivers

Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging the provincial government to open up ICBC to competition

Summerland issues State of Local Emergency in response to wildfire

Two homes under evacuation order; evacuation alert remains in place as result of wildfire

A brother’s determination pushes B.C. cyclist to ride 2,500 km for heart care

#Cunnycan: Ryan Cunningham ‘pushing the envelope’ to support brother Craig’s foundation

Family keeps Bentley’s memory alive

Aldergrove Legion hosts fundraiser for Women’s Hospital on August 4

Most Read